I bought 4 metres of this very bold cotton print ‘Peachy Pink Large Leopard’ back in June 2022 from Rainbow Fabrics. It was laundered and then sat in the pile of fabrics awaiting inspiration.
I knew that I wanted to make a dress with full circular skirt but apart from that could not decide on what style of bodice to use. Finally, as I had the idea to make the ‘toile’ version of the Morgan Messenger Bag in the fabric remnants, I needed to get on and cut out something! I finally went with the ‘Harley’ dress. I used my self-drafted ‘Harley’ bodice and an adapted skirt from the Penny dress by Sew Over It.
Construction of this cotton fabric was straightforward. I used French seams on the skirt panels and included concealed side seam pockets – also French seamed. I left the skirt to hang whilst I made up the sleeves and then went onto the bodice. The sleeves have a deep hem facing that was hand stitched in place on the inside. Two rows of gathering at the sleeve head before inserting the sleeves using French seams. The bodice was lined with some plain White cotton with the facings appliqued on using fashion fabric. Seam allowances on both the fashion fabric and lining were pinked to help prevent fraying.
I applied a 3 inch wide facing to the front edges of the skirt panels and ran two rows of gathering along the upper edges of the back skirt panels.
I attached the skirt to the bodice, overlocked the raw edges and then turned up the bottom edge of the bodice lining and top stitched from the right side.
Buttonholes were worked on my machine and I used 12 coconut shell buttons stitched wrong side up so that the paler shade was on show.
The hem of the skirt was overlocked before turning up a ¼ inch twice and top stitching in place.
Conclusion: I am delighted with the dress and will definitely be making this pattern again. When you are a larger lady it is best to go big, go bold!
Project #44 completed 29th September 2022